By Tim Meenan, Dan Olson & Joy Ryan
Meenan Law Firm
The Florida Legislature met in special session from May 23 – 25, 2022, to address the affordability and availability of residential property insurance as well as condominium law reforms related to the Surfside condo collapse. The Legislature passed two bills, which Governor DeSantis signed into law on May 26.
Property Insurance SB 2D/HB 1D
by Sen. Boyd and Rep. Trumbull
SB 2D passed the Senate Chamber 30-9 and the House Chamber 95-14. The bill adds a layer of state-backed reinsurance at the coverage layer right below where the Florida Hurricane Catastrophe Fund initiates coverage. It seeks to address litigation issues by adopting the federal standard when applying a contingency fee multiplier and eliminates attorney fees for assignees in Assignment of Benefit (AOB) litigation for residential and commercial property insurance policies. The bill appropriates $150 million dollars for a home hardening program referred to as the My Safe Florida Home Program. Allows a separate roof deductible of up to two percent of the limit of the policy or 50 percent of the cost to replace the roof. Prohibits an insurer from refusing to issue or renew a homeowner’s insurance policy on a residential structure with a roof that is less than 15 years old solely because of the age of the roof. Requires property insurers to conduct any physical inspection of the property related to a claim within 45 days of receiving proof of loss statements (does not apply to hurricane claims). Provides strong solicitation guidance for contractors and public adjusters for the purpose of making a property insurance claim for roof damage.
This bill took effect on May 26, 2022.
Building Safety SB 4D/HB 3D and HB 5D
By Sen. Boyd and Rep. Trumbull and Rep. Perez
This bill has two components:
- Twenty-five percent rule for roof replacement. This exception allows the repair, replacement, or recovering of any portion of a roof without requiring the rest of the roof to be brought up to the current edition of the Code if the remaining portion of the roof at least meets the requirements of the 2007 Florida Building Code.
- Condominium law changes related to association reserves and building inspections. Creates a statewide building milestone inspection requirement for condominiums and cooperative buildings that are three stories or higher in height 30 years after initial occupancy and 25 years after initial occupancy for buildings located within three miles of the coast. Requires inspections every 10 years after a building’s initial “phase 1” inspection. Mandates an additional, more intensive inspection, or a “phase 2 inspection,” if a building’s phase 1 inspection reveals substantial structural deterioration. Requires building officials to provide written notice to associations when buildings must be inspected. Requires phase 1 and phase 2 inspection reports be submitted to building officials and unit owners. Provides local building officials with ability to assess penalties for failing to comply with the requirements for phase 1 and phase 2 inspections.
- Reserves — repeals the ability of condominium developers to waive the collection of all types of reserve funds. Requires condominiums and cooperatives to conduct structural integrity reserve studies every 10 years for buildings that are three or more stories in height and prohibits waiver of funding for certain structural reserves.
This bill took effect May 26, 2022.